Redesigning The Sun Magazine

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After 10 happy years of working together, the Plank team is happy to announce that we’ll once again be collaborating with non-profit publisher Sun Magazine on the next version of their website—an entirely reimagined digital home for over 40 years of high-quality content and articles.

A shared history

Plank first began working with the Chapel Hill, NC based magazine in 2006, when their team was looking to redesign their entire site. It was an exciting challenge that fell smack into an industry we were – and still are – deeply passionate about; arts and culture. Together, we created an online destination where readers could explore all of the rich literary and visual content The Sun had to offer. Since that day, Plank has been there to support and partner The Sun as it navigates the shifting paradigms and standards of both the web and publishing industries. We’re extremely proud of our shared history and of the trusting relationship we’ve forged with this talented and creative team of publishers.

A shared vision

The Sun contract comes on the heels of a series of intensive on-site workshops meant to get at the root of the client’s needs. This initial stand-alone discovery process allowed us to better understand every stakeholder’s unique perspective and desires. It also allowed us to scope out some of the more granular technical details up front and to really collaboratively consider the future of online publishing and direct subscriber business models before diving into development. Once we were all on the same page, we delivered a unified Digital Project Strategy alongside our project proposal—which included the need for a responsive design refresh, a modernized CMS to accommodate their extensive archive and considerable UX-oriented upgrades. Our common goal? To create a more immersive and enjoyable reading experience for loyal and new readers alike.

“We’re pleased to be working with Plank to make the online home of our forty-year archive and an inviting site for longtime subscribers and new readers alike. We’re excited to see what Plank develops.”

David Mahaffey, Digital-Media Director at The Sun

Shared values

Beyond a great working relationship, Plank and The Sun share a few core values that truly drive the kind of business we try to seek out and attract. Defined as a “an independent, ad-free magazine that for more than forty years has used words and photographs to evoke the splendor and heartache of being human. Each monthly issue celebrates life, but not in a way that ignores its complexity. The personal essays, short stories, interviews, poetry, and photographs that appear in The Sun’s pages explore the challenges we face and the moments when we rise to meet them.” Centered around transparency, accessibility, diversity and simple stories, The Sun team delivers content that’s meaningful and impactful, and that’s a mission we’re proud to be a part of.

We don’t want to give away too much, but suffice to say, we’re delighted to be building on an already excellent working relationship with The Sun, we’re having a blast working on this new project and we’ll be sharing our new work as soon as we can.